Transformation well under way
Work to transform mental health services for children and young people living in Hertfordshire is well under way, with improvements already seen.
Waiting times have reduced and new early support services have started, with thousands of children and young people given emotional and wellbeing support in the last 12 months.
Following last year’s publication of the Government report Future in Mind, highlighting the national need to address gaps in mental health and wellbeing provision for children and young people, there was a local review of Hertfordshire’s support services, which included asking children, young people, parents and carers about their experiences.
The resulting CAMHS Transformation plan secured national funding to improve services over the next five years, with Hertfordshire’s two NHS clinical commissioning groups taking the lead.
Maria Nastri, CAMHS Transformation manager, explained: “We are developing a new approach that places an emphasis on prevention and early intervention and the delivery of services and interventions that offer swift, evidence-based and flexible support that looks holistically at the needs of the child or young person rather than focusing on a diagnosis or thresholds.
“The aim of the plan is to empower the system, increase capacity across it and up-skill children, young people, their families and professionals to be resilient, to be informed about support available and the choices they have and to understand what they can do to help themselves.”
Key priorities are to:
• focus on prevention and early intervention
• improve access to psychological therapies
• bring together education and mental health services with joint training
• develop community eating disorder services
• improve mental health services for women during pregnancy and within the first year after having a baby, known as the perinatal period, as there is a strong link between parental mental health and children’s mental health.
Improvements launched already include www.Kooth.com, offering online counselling support for 10 to 25 year olds living in Hertfordshire, closer working with schools and training professionals across the county in young mental health first aid and infant mental health.
There’s more information about Hertfordshire’s Transformation Plan for Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing is available at http://www.enhertsccg.nhs.uk/transforming-mental-health-services-children-and-young-people-camhs
CAMHS transformation communications manager
Working on behalf of East & North Hertfordshire CCG and Herts Valleys CCG
Direct line: 07770 925981
Switchboard: 01707 361251